Why low-cost LMS platforms are expensive in the long-run


You’ve heard it before – “We’re not rich enough to buy cheap things” – Meaning that low-cost products are likely to break or need replacing, so buying one high-quality, long-lasting item is a better investment. Well let us tell you, this is true for SaaS and especially Learning Management Systems as well! So why do low-cost LMSs end up more expensive in the long run?

Have you ever tried to calculate the total cost of your company’s LMS? Or the ROI of your investment in such a platform? Moreso, have you made sure to outline your KPIs in order to check if you reach your goals within your budget? This is why low-cost LMSs can end up more expensive in the long-run.

A lot of organizations choose to start with an open-source or inexpensive LMS, believing that it would keep training costs low. There are, however, several catches to this decision. Organizations sign up for these systems unaware of the potential bill shock that could hit them. 

Is there a Budget in mind?

Like everything, there are certain things to look for in an LMS in order to get the best outcome. Let’s start with determining your budget. To determine exactly what your organization can afford, you need to know what to look for in an LMS. Specifically, you need to know how to determine if hidden costs will derail your eLearning budget. 

A low-cost LMS may cost you less at the outset, but as your program grows, so will your need for a multi-featured platform that can accommodate change. If your data goes unused because your LMS cannot provide data management features, then your platform is already costing you potential profit. 

Moreover, added features, like Task automation through an enterprise-grade LMS, might enable you to leave time-intensive, repetitive tasks to your LMS to perform manually.  
For example, while the Hybrid workspace is now all the rage, in-built live sessions have become a crucial feature for any LMS/LXP. In fact, live sessions are becoming more and more of a vital feature. So what happens if your LMS does not include any virtual session platform? It could become obsolete. Some even include an auto-zoom recording on live sessions, so you don’t even have to remember to record (hint, enabley is one of those 😉)  

Does your LMS support any type of tutorial file? Or larger ones? Will you need integration with any other systems? The list goes on… The research you gather prior to making a decision is vital. There will be some crucial system capabilities and some that are nice-to-have.  

If one of your challenges is poor User Engagement, maybe your system isn’t offering the experience your learners are yearning for. Is there any gamification element within your LMS? Are your users able to discuss or interact? Can they choose what to learn via a catalog?  

Here are some KEY features every Training Manager should consider:  

  • Administrative Tools – For reporting & insights or integration capabilities.  
  • Support for Your Organization – Do you have a dedicated CSM who works with you in order to reach your goals?  
  • Data Management Capabilities 
  • Flexible Curriculum Structure 
  • Content Can Be Costly – some strong LMSs that support all types of files, ppt/pptx/zip (SCORM/HTML)/ Vimeo + YouTube/MP4. – Do your research before finding that you MUST acquire any additional paid tutorials! 
  • Time Is Money – How fast can you launch your platform & Invite learners?  
  • Cost of Integration and Maintenance 
  • Offline Learning capabilities  

So how can you find out if your intended LMS has any hidden fees? No hidden costs means that the price quoted is the total price to the Customer as quoted in any quotation, proposal, or other document sent to Customers.  

On the other hand, as you can see there are so many pricing models for your LMS/LXP – only you know what is best for your organization. We suggest taking into consideration your scale, your staff turnover, and of course the training goals. With so many LMS providers, it’s critical that you put careful thought and consideration into which platform you choose and what features are non-negotiable for you. 

Define your company’s goals and the needs of your employees

The LMS platform should satisfy both the requirements of your organization and those of your employees. Don’t forget that your goal is to find a program that fits your organization and engages your employees as much as possible. Make sure your LMS is going to be as cost-effective as possible in order to get the best possible return on your investment. And stick within your budget, of course. 

To summarize, it’s important to find the LMS that suits your goals.  The cost of the LMS should cover most of the training & operations needed, such as Virtual meetings (recordings), easy data analysis, and of course allowing you to use your existing materials. Before choosing your LMS, ask questions not only from the training world but from the e-operation world too, and be able to safely and easily transform from traditional learning to digital education. Good luck! 

It’s time to find out how enabley can benefit your business!